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12 July – Count to ten and breathe

We have a busy household. We home school our three youngest children, and our home is also a base for the rest of our life’s activities and ministry. We have the full spectrum of family life with young children, pre teens, teenagers, young adults and a married daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Plus we have our extended family, our church family and other friends. I love them all, and look forward to our times of gathering together; of the spontaneous visits and catch ups, the sharing together and the times we spend in God’s presence, and the cool stuff that happens.

But today I had a moment. Actually it was several moments. It was cold today, the kids were not being as delightful as they can be, and I was feeling overwhelmed by the constant need to “pull in “ their behaviour and manner with each other and me. I think every parent or person in authority has had moments where they feel disrespected and unacknowledged. You are tired of reprimanding people about the same things over and over, and you have reached that point of enough!

Today was one of those “I’ve had enough moments.” So I did what I needed to do. I left the room, found a quiet space and took a long, deep breath and counted to ten. There are days when we just need to breath, stop for a moment, and cool down before deciding what to do next.

It’s actually a relaxation technique that helps clear our minds, and calms our emotions. The combination of breathing and counting settles us down. The increased oxygen in our lungs, and the time gap between the moment we become frustrated and the time we finish the exercise, enables us to increase our perspective, helping us to deal with our stress and frustration.

Many times I will hear God’s gentle reminder to “just breathe, slow down and count to ten”. It sounds like a simple thing to do, but it does work. In that time we get quiet, we focus, we gain perspective, regather our calm and allow God to tell us what to do next. Today I was prompted to phone my husband and he prayed and encouraged me, reminding me that it was all okay. By the time I walked back into the family room everything had settled down, I had regained my strength and perspective, and was able to enjoy the rest of my day.

Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, be encouraged. God is with you even in the midst of all the noise and chaos. And also know that its’ okay to sometimes simply stop, count to ten and just breathe.

The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are with me even in the midst of my “not so great moments”. Help me to stop, to count to ten and just breathe. Understanding that it helps me to refocus, to calm down, and to listen to your voice telling me what to do next. Thank you. In Jesus Name Amen.

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